What is the legal definition of sexual abuse?

Many activities can be considered sexual abuse.  Sexual abuse includes activities by a parent, caregiver, or other individual such as fondling a child's genitals, penetration, incest, rape, sodomy, indecent exposure, and exploitation through prostitution or the production of pornographic materials. 

Under the Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA), (42 U.S.C.A. §5106g),  sexual abuse is defined as "the employment, use, persuasion, inducement, enticement, or coercion of any child to engage in, or assist any other person to engage in, any sexually explicit conduct or simulation of such conduct for the purpose of producing a visual depiction of such conduct; or the rape, and in cases of caretaker or inter-familial relationships, statutory rape, molestation, prostitution, or other form of sexual exploitation of children, or incest with children." 

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This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified sexual abuse lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local sexual abuse attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.

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